noma dig

“Dear PoPville,

Developers started to dig up a parking lot in NoMa but have found brick outlines which are now being carefully sifted through. We’re all really curious to know what they might have found!”

Ed. Note: I asked former ANC Rep Tony Goodman about this and he says it’s the future FCC building at 45 and 55 L Street, NE.

Another reader with a different angle writes:

“it looks like there are old brick foundations/sidewalks beneath the parking lot they are digging up.”



lincolns cottage
140 Rock Creek Church Road, NW

From President Lincoln’s Cottage:

“On July 4, 1864, the same day the Lincoln family moved to the Cottage for the last time, Abraham Lincoln signed into law An Act to Encourage Immigration. This legislation cemented Lincoln and the Republican Party’s platform pledging that immigration “should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy.”

American by Belief, a new special exhibit opening this fall at President Lincoln’s Cottage, introduces the public to Abraham Lincoln’s little known immigration policies. Lincoln believed that America offered immigrants the full realization of its founding promises and a fair chance to succeed. Some of these very principles continue to draw immigrants to the United States 150 years later.

American by Belief opens on October 16, 2015, in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center and will remain open for two years.

Follow here for immigration stories visitors have left us in the exhibit.”

Photos courtesy Council of the District of Columbia

From an email:

“Century-Old Photo Negatives Discovered, Depicting Taft Inauguration, Newly-Constructed Wilson Building, and Historic Blizzard


Through its ongoing effort to highlight elements of the history of the District government and its headquarters, the Council has discovered a cache of 108-year-old photo negatives featuring unique local subject matter.


Specifically, the 31 images constitute a historic triple-play in terms of their content, in that they depict:

· The Inaugural Parade of William Howard Taft as the 27th President on March 4, 1909

· The District (now Wilson) Building just months after its dedication

· A historic blizzard so bad that the Presidential Oath was extraordinarily moved indoors

Photos drawn from these negatives, perhaps the first to see the light of day in a century, are on display in the Ground Floor Atrium of the Wilson Building. For full details on the exhibit, please see below. (more…)

8th and Upshur Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

A developer has applied for a permit to raze one of the first houses in Petworth. We discussed this project here before. It’s the house that has the steps on the side of the porch, which you can see on the photo from 1893.

Below is the notification from DCRA about a raze permit. Does anyone know if there is anything the neighbors could do to save this historic house from coming down? The developers could easily turn the house into condos without razing it.

The following raze applications were filed at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) between December 1, 2016 and January 5, 2017:

ANC Address

4C 4207 8th Street NW (two story brick single family dwelling, semi-detached)”



“Dear PoPville,

Found this on the ground in the CVS on Mass Ave. Any idea when metro stopped using tokens?”

Hmm, did metro rail, bus and streetcar all take tokens. I know the old streetcar did but I didn’t know bus and/or rail did too? Can any history buffs/WMATA employees/old school peeps school us? Either way, very cool find!

Ed. Note: If you have a photo of a neat find you’ve stumbled on please send an email to princeofpetworth(at) thanks. Please let me know where you found it too.

Courtesy DC Council

From a press release:

“The final chapter in the long saga of the Wilson Building’s World War II Memorial has been reached: the fully restored Memorial has been reinstalled on the building’s ground floor.

After spending two decades broken and forgotten in a closet, then another five years languishing in a mystery status with no known identity, the Memorial’s original purpose was rediscovered in early 2016.

The memorial, measuring nearly 12 feet by 6 feet, honors the nearly 2,000 DC government employees who served during World War II. Their war service is especially poignant given that they could not vote neither for their Commander-in-Chief, nor for a representative or Senator in the Congress that declared and funded the War.

To visit the Memorial, enter the Wilson Building through the 13 ½ Street entrance, then take an immediate left.

This article describes the detective work it took to rediscover the Memorial’s history, and includes links to the original historical documents on which that work relied. The memorial’s historic timeline is included below. (more…)